The system of education in England and Wales is rooted in religious foundations. ‘Church schools’ were never an add-on to an essentially secular system. Rather were they in many respects the foundation of the system from its beginning in the 19th century, when, in 1833, the first government grant of £20,000 was given to the existing elementary schools run by the National Schools Society of the Church of England and by the British and Foreign Schools Society of the Dissenters. Not until the Forster Act of 1870 were there established local School Boards (eventually as many as 2,650) with the powers to raise local rates to ensure elementary education for all, whether in the Church Schools or in the new Board Schools. But even in these Board Schools, there was to be religious teaching, albeit of a non-denominational kind.